Natural Homemade Hair Dye

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By: Angela Wills

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Often far less harmful than shop bought products. In fact, if you use the correct recipe it can actually help condition and strengthen your hair

natural homemade hair dye

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, please read my full affiliate disclosure.

Similar to my hair spray recipe, a homemade hair dye is often far less harmful than shop-bought products. In fact, if you use the correct recipe it can actually help condition and strengthen your hair! This is one of many homemade products for natural hair care on

There are two ways to color hair, naturally or chemically. A chemical coloring works by opening the outer covering of the hair (the cuticle) in order to penetrate it. This can damage the cuticle leaving your hair very dry and brittle; whereas a natural colorant can actually help condition and strengthen the hair.

natural homemade hair dye
Image Credit: mommyknows

Making Homemade Hair Dye

Henna is probably one of the strongest and most common herbs to use as a diy hair dye. The finished color will often depend on where the henna has been produced.

Egyptian and Moroccan henna has a slight orange tint to it, ware as Iranian henna tends to give more of a reddish tint ( although when henna is mixed up it has a greenish color).


Everyone’s hair reacts slightly different when exposed to a colorant, so before you start putting a colorant over your entire hair I would recommend doing a strand test first.

Make up a tiny amount of the homemade hair dye and try it on a small discreet strand of hair, leave it for around 30 minutes before washing out. If it’s too bright for your liking, leave it on a bit longer, to dark, a little shorter.

Natural Colors

Good Ingredients to add to henna for color and shine are:

  • Chamomile or rhubarb root for light hair
  • Coffee for a dull red
  • Indigo for very dark hair
  • Red wine for a rich auburn colour

Ingredients Needed:

  • 6 tablespoons Powdered Henna
  • 1 tablespoon of either the powdered herbs, ground coffee beans or Indigo (see natural colors above)
  • 6 1/2 fl oz (200ml) boiling water – or half water half red wine for the Auburn (see natural colors above)
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar – 1/2 teaspoon if using half water half wine for Auburn
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (normal to dry hair)

Equipment Needed:

  • Large bowl
  • Old towels
  • Newspaper
  • Hair clips
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic wrap or plastic hat


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients with the boiling water and wine if you’re using it. Stir in the cider vinegar and leave the paste to cool a little, until it’s just warm enough to handle.
  2. Wrap one of the old towels around your neck and shoulders and either wear an apron or place another old towel over your lap.
  3. Rub the oil into your hair and then divide your hair into sections using clips, this will make it much easier to handle.
  4. Wearing the plastic gloves and starting at the center of your head, coat each section with the henna paste working from the roots to the ends. Once a section has been well coated with the paste pile it out of the way on the top of your head.
  5. After your hair has been totally coated with the henna treatment, wrap your head fairly tightly with plastic wrap and leave for the required time. This is usually between 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the strand test you did, but basically the longer you leave it the deeper the color.
  6. Rinse the natural homemade hair dye out of your hair until the water begins to run clear, then shampoo and condition as you normally would.

A DIY Hair Dye Submitted By Jenny (BC)

Here’s my diy hair dye recipe containing rhubarb and chamomile!

Due to the chemicals added in today’s hair dyes, I seem to have an allergic reaction whenever I try to use them; it actually brings my scalp out in a terrible rash and makes it quite sore.

So I don’t have much choice but to make my own hair treatments and home hair dye. My hair is a light mousey color which can be a bit boring and dull so I’ve had to find a way to lighten my hair without using any chemicals in it.

Figuring I wasn’t the only one to suffer with this problem I’ve submitted this highlight treatment and hair rinse recipe for all to share, as it seems to work pretty well for me.

Rhubarb and Chamomile highlighting treatment


  • 2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
  • 2 tablespoons dried powdered rhubarb root
  • 10fl oz (300ml) boiling water


  1. Grind or crush the chamomile, add it to the rhubarb powder, and mix to a paste with the boiling water.
  2. Section out your dry hair and cover with the hot paste, wrap with plastic wrap and leave for 60 minutes before rinsing out.
  3. Shampoo as normal, to enhance the lighten effect rise with the highlighting rinse bellow.

Rhubarb and Chamomile Highlight Rinse

(use after the lightening treatment above or after a regular shampoo for a milder outcome.)


  • 4oz (125g) fresh rhubarb
  • 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers
  • 2 pints (1.2litres) water
  • 1 teaspoon borax


  1. Finely chop the rhubarb and place in a pan with the chamomile and water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Allow cooling until just warm, then strain and mix in the borax.
  3. Pour the warm rinse through freshly washed hair 2 or 3 times if you can, then leave to dry naturally.

I’m hoping that you like my homemade hair dye recipe and I really hope it helps you out!

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Angela Wills

Angela Wills is the founder and driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience and a Diploma in skincare formulation, Angela brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried, tested recipes & products that will work for everyone, and she infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

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Discussion (4 Comments)

  1. Thanks for posting about dying with wine – it’s hard-to-find information that I wish more people knew about. I’ve been dying my hair with red henna for years. My hair is med/dark brown, so I like to give it a red/mahogany/auburn boost. I mix my red henna powder (from Iran = super high quality) with coffee grounds, red wine, and sumac powder and let it ‘marinate’ overnight. MAKE SURE!!! You don’t use anything metal to mix your henna in – as it will chemically change how the henna ‘takes’. So, plastic, wood, glass bowls/utensils ONLY! Then slowly & carefully apply it the next day. I leave it on (wrapped in cellophane and with a sock-hat on) for 2 hours. Then rinse in cool water to help it set. I don’t wash it for the next 2-3 days. And you’ll want to make SURE that you don’t use shampoos that have tea tree oil as it will strip the color right out! Some friends of mine that have also been using henna for years and like it REALLY carrot red – like to mix a bit of cinnamon and a lot of paprika into their henna. Have fun!

  2. I absolutely love how bright this color was on my dark brown hair! It faded gracefully over a couple of weeks and I still have a ton of product left to redo it. My only complaint is that it will stain literally everything so you have to put a barrier cream around your hairline and keep the gloves on in the shower.

  3. Dear ANGELA,
    I am a Japanese, intrested in henna.
    If you know a recipe which can dye white hair to Blackish tint, chemical free, please let me know.
    Best regards,
    Hiroyoshi Hayashi

    • There is natural black henna! Henna is made from dried, ground plant leaves – it comes in (slight variations of) red or black only. Good Luck!


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